Iconic mosaic restored by students

23 February 2018

Students from Leeds Arts University have collaborated with local mosaic artist, Ruth Wilkinson, to create a beautiful new mosaic located in Victoria Quarter.

Commissioned by Hammerson, mosaic artist Ruth Wilkinson worked with students to research the history of Victoria Quarter, and spend time photographing, sketching, and getting a sense of how to position the mosaic. The students, who study on a range of undergraduate degree, postgraduate and further education courses, were able to gain the valuable skills required to create and install a mosaic.

Image: Students installing the mosaic with artist Ruth Wilkinson

The rich heritage and architectural features of the Victorian Arcades have been interpreted through the mosaic with key features including white arches and black curves, the design of the shops fronts in the newly launched Victoria Gate, as well as diamond shapes with gold centres featuring a Yorkshire Rose. To further mark the historical significance of the arcades, the decorative bands circling the mosaic reflect the ironwork in the Victoria Quarter's ceiling.

To complete the mosaic, there are four central images that celebrate the original Victorian trades that once flourished in the arcades. These include the fruit and vegetable market that was once in County Arcade, the butchers and slaughter houses in the central arcade, the dress makers and haberdashery suppliers and finally, the dance hall that was also once in County Arcade.

Image: Artist Ruth Wilkinson putting the finishing touches to the mosaic

James Rogers, Community Executive at Hammerson, said:

"It has been a fantastic project to work on and we are delighted with the stunning design that Ruth and the students have created. Victoria is steeped in history and the new mosaic is the perfect way to recognise and celebrate its cultural heritage.”